“Two policies were identified as being helpful for students. Frequently identified was the assistance of financial aid officers. In addition, students at one session were encouraged by the Hispanic/Latino Outreach Office at BCTC and by a specific program organized out of that office. Every summer, for the last four years, some Latino high school students across Kentucky participate in the Latino Leadership and College Experience Camp (LLCEC) where junior and senior high school students experience college life during a week period. Both the office and this specific program had positive feedback from all students in the Bluegrass Community and Technical College session.
“Everything that Erin [head of Hispanic/Latino Outreach Office at BCTC] does help[s] us to keep going, for example the summer camps. When you see other kids participating in this camp and they look at you like as a role model that really puts pressure on you. That makes you keep going.”
“These kids look at you like you are „great‟ and really you are just a few steps ahead of them, but for them, we are so far away. This type of program encourages you to work harder.”
“It is nice to hear other students saying that they want to be like you. At the summer camps, they ask questions on how we have been able to overcome all the obstacles and looking back we proudly say „perseverance and motivation‟.”
“The researcher reiterated whether there were specific programs/policies that they perceived were intended to recruit Latinos or to help them to enter postsecondary education. Students did not have a clear knowledge about any program or policy. Most participants indicated they heard about it but had no specific concrete knowledge.
Community Colleges. “Not at all,” “Nothing that I remembered,” and “I can‟t think of any one in specific.” These were the most frequent responses from participants all across the three community college focus groups. The only exceptions were the experience of participants in pre-college summer camps sponsored by the Bluegrass Community College… and the existence of the Hispanic/Latino Outreach Office in Bluegrass. These students pointed out the great impact such experience had on them. Notable in contrast was the absence of such comments from the other two campuses [ECTC and JCC].
“I was a participant in the summer camp last year and that experience connected me with college life and I saw the possibility to be part of it.”